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Organizing the Worldwide Product Hunt meetup in Paris

Preparations

On Tuesday, January 28th, 2020, we organized a Product Hunt meetup in Paris. This was the second event of a meetup we created in December 2019 but that’s not all… it was also part of a worldwide event!

At the beginning of November 2019, we started to look for a Product Hunt related meetup around Paris. We didn’t find any and decided to create one. We started by working on securing a venue and a bit of money to offer food to our guests.

In the meantime we asked makers on Product Hunt if they’d be interested in a meetup in Paris.

Little did we know that Product Hunt was about to ask a very similar question to the entire world!

We were thrilled that stars would align in that way! We were to host our first meetup and the next one would already be a very special event!

We created, as most meetups creators do, a meetup.com group and started communicating around the event.

On December 6th, the very first Product Hunt Paris meetup happened. Despite a very important strike in France (especially in Paris!), on the 35 people that RSVPed, 15 were able to make it. For a first event we were impressed to say the least.

During the evening, one of the attendees suggested we create a Slack to discuss of our projects, exchange product tips and tricks. That was a brilliant idea and the next morning we created the Product Hunt Paris Slack workspace.

When we heard back from Product Hunt we were able to contact most of the other makers that answered the call and invite them to the Slack workspace. It was a good thing we had this mean of communication as organizing by email would have been a nightmare.

Securing a venue was a bit trickier than the first time. We needed more sits, and we lost some time with a first location to finally learn it wasn’t going to be possible. In the end we managed to secure a spot at the Partech Shaker, the room was just right and surrounded by an amazing rooftop with a panoramic view on Paris. Awesome!

Time flew by and everyone had a lot of work at their respective companies. There were just 3 days remaining before the event, and we still didn’t have any speaker or any food. A lot of people would have been willing to give a talk, the date just wasn’t right for them.

But the day before, everything fall into place! We got Nicolas Jacques from Naker and Jules Maregiano from Phantombuster to give talks so the lineup was complete. PDFMonkey and ToolGuide were able to finance food and drinks so Simon went to Costco to buy all of it. Let me tell you, that was one epic cart!

One of our worries was the new meetups platform from Product Hunt. We already had a group on Meetup.com and had announced the second meetup. People had already RSVPed and now we had to migrate from one platform to the next. In the end we ended up having 80 RSVPs on each platform (with barely 10% overlap) for a room capacity of 80 people!

Luckily for us and thanks to a lot of warning messages (and to the usual ~50% drop), we had the perfect number of attendees!

The event

The meetup itself went very smoothly. We arrived a bit early to set things up, installed the food and drinks, tested the mics and the screen, laid out stickers. Then people started to come in.

Pro Tip: If you’re providing beers, don’t forget to bring one or two bottle-openers. We learned that the hard way! But people are always resourceful when it comes to opening beers don’t worry.

We let attendees discuss and network for a bit then, at 8 PM, we invited everyone to sit for the talks’ session. And let me tell you… those talks were amazing!

Nicolas gave some insight about what it means to launch on Product Hunt, how the three launches at Naker went, what worked, what didn’t work and the mistakes they made or the surprises they had.

Jules talked about ways you can automate some of the work needed to prepare for a successful launch. How to raise awareness about your product beforehand and how to draw natural traffic toward Product Hunt the day you launch.

When there were no more questions from the public, we announced that we would be sending a feedback form so that we could improve the meetup.

Product Hunt had sent us goodies: stickers, a t-shirt, a pair of socks and 3 pin’s. Since it’d be hard to select whom would get each item, we used them as an incentive to fill the feedback form. We would draw random names from the people answering the form and offer them one item during the next meetup.

We ended the event after some more networking, everyone was very helpful and participated with the cleanup.

All in all, that was an awesome event, and we’re thrilled to have been a part of it!

Tags: Events, Product Hunt